The event has become known as the ‘Tinley Park lights’ and remains one of the most documented and speculated UFO phenomenon in recent history.
At the same time the red lights were seen, an air show was taking place in Chicago. Many argued that the lights were caused by the show, which was considered the most plausible of explanations. However, there are many who dismissed this argument, namely due to the fact further sightings of the red lights were seen at Tinley Park, once on Halloween in 2006 and, more later, on October 1, 2015.
As (1) Patch reports, the three lights congregated in a triangular shape. Sam Maranto, state director of Illinois MUFON, who lives in nearby Orland Park, told Patch how, on the night of the first sighting, the conditions were perfect.
“The night of the 21st was beautiful, people were outside, there were parties all over.”
“There were a lot of people outside that night, hundreds if not thousands. People were able to see and record what was going on,” said Maranto.
Other eye-witnesses share their experiences of three bright lights, coming towards them in single file. According to Bill Dooley, a resident of Tinley, the lights hovered in the sky for around 20 minutes.
Dooley also noted how the lights were silent and, after they had made a triangle, they began to move away, stacked on top of each other. The lights turned white before they moved on.
The most logical sounding theory was that the lights were caused by the air show that was taking place in Chicago at the time. Suggestions have been made that the lights were caused by military planes, model aircraft and even a balloon hoax.
The Model Aircraft Theory
Though, when asked whether the lights could have been caused by a model aircraft, Dooley was quick to dismiss such claims, due to the fact the lights were silent.
The theory that the lights may have been something to do with the fact that the Air and Water Show that takes place in August each year, doesn not explain how further similar lights were seen above Tinley Park in October in later years.
The balloon hoax theory has also been debunked by UFO hunters Pat Uskert and Bill Birnes, who traveled there to try and recreate the scene in an episode for the history Channel titled the “Illinois Invasion”.
Though as Dooley says, the recreated scene, using flares and balloons, “looked very different” from the lighting phenomenon that took place in Tinley.
Metrocosm has published eye-witness accounts of the UFO events in Tinley Park, which make interesting reading. (2) One such account is by a local trucker who relays his/her experiences at Tinley Park on October 1, 2005. The truckers says how he/she regularly checks the night sky and stars when loading the truck.
Describing the scene as “very freaky,” the trucker said:
“This particular night I noticed a constellation I’ve never seen before off to my northwest. Three extremely bright stars in the shape of a triangle.”
Such is the incredibility of the Tinley Park UFO sightings that Metrocosm has listed it as number one on its map which displays over 90,000 reports of UFO sightings dating back to 1905. The (3) ‘Most Credible UFO Sightings and an Interactive Map’ report is based on data from the National UFO Reporting Center.
Tinley Park Lights Still Unexplained
Number one on the list is Tinley Park Lights, which has 77 eye-witness reports attached to it. Many of the reports certainly help wash away more ‘logical’ theories of the lights being caused by aircraft or by the Chicago light show. As one eye-witness wrote:
“Three horizontal equally spaced lights in the sky way too big to be an aircraft.”
The residents of Tinley Park certainly make the most of the strange occurrence that has taken place in the night sky above it on several occasions. One business-minded resident of the nearby Frankfort, Mark Vecchi, is celebrating the anniversary of the event in his store in Tinley Park, selling commemorative t-shirts that read:
“Tinley Park Illinois BEWARE: alien dropping.”
What are your thoughts on the Tinley Park lights? Could they be, like other UFO sightings, caused by “logical” reasons such as (4) military experiments, or a nearby sky show? Or does the bizarre behavior suggest something more supernatural, such as aliens from another planet visiting Earth?